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Friendly #1: Boca Juniors

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The Electric Yellow Sounders will take on Club Atlético Boca Juniors at 7:30PM at Qwest Field.

It will be the first of two friendlies this summer, with Celtic slated for later in July. Over 40,000 tickets have been sold for the game, with tickets still available. There was a special package deal released last week that involved hot dogs, which normally would be too good to turn down. But, again, too broke.

In case you don't know who the Blue and Gold are, I included the short trailer for the documentary Argentina Futbol Club. I've been seeing fliers all over for the film, which premiered a private showing last week to the Sounders media in time for the friendly. There will be screenings next month in case you're curious.

Anyways, the short trailer captures the passion and history that Boca Juniors bring with them. They are the most decorated club in Argentina, if not the world. They've won the national championship 23 times, the Copa Libertadores 6 times, and 3 World Club Championships (last in 2003 over AC Milan). And according to FIFA, they're tied with AC Milan for the most international trophies won (18). They're no strangers to the world game.

The team will be without stars Juan Roman Riquelme (injury) and Martin Palermo (WC duty). In all honesty, these two players were the main reason I was so excited to see Boca play, but their roster is still with plenty of talent and depth.

Boca's traveling squad, as reported at the Times.

Goalkeepers: Javier Garcia, Josue Ayala, Sebastian D'Angelo
Defenders: Gaston Sauro, Leandro Aguirre, Hugo Ibarra, Leandro Marin, Luciano Fabian Monzon, Ezequiel Munoz, Breyner Bonilla (Colombia), David Achucarro.
Midfielders: Jesus Mendez, Cristian Erbes, Matias Gimenez, Nicolas Colazo, Gaston Rossi.
Forwards: Pablo Mouche, Lucas Viatri, Nicolas Blandi, Orlando Gaona Lugo (Paraguay), Sergio Araujo.
Manager: Roberto Pompei

A lot of unknown names for me, but Hugo Ibarra is one player I remember well. The defender played a big part in Monaco's run to the CL final.

Sigi has said that he's going to give the fringe players a chance for some minutes. Notably, draft pick rookie striker David Estrada was pinpointed by Sigi. Also, expect the Sounders to blood defender Jeff Parke for his first professional Sounders minutes, as he'll need to get match-fit if he's to fill in for the injured Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.

With Colorado away this Saturday, most of the starters will see little playing time. However, I'll be looking for some signs of improvement over the loss to San Jose. We might not get our first Sounders friendly win at Qwest Field, but right now form and rhythm are more important than going all out for a meaningless win. Either way, it should be entertaining to watch the first ever Argentine visitors to Seattle.

Official Sounders Preview for first friendly against Boca Juniors